On the southwest side of San Francisco, near the city zoo and just inside city limits, is Fort Funston, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, although locals often refer to the park as Doggie Disneyland. Just a short drive from downtown San Francisco, Fort Funston has a lot for people and their dogs to see, and best of all, dogs can explore this pawrific pupperdise off leash!
At Fort Funston, you can find sand dunes, beach access, and miles and miles of trails to suit all levels of experience and activity, from extremely steep sand stairs to well-paved, wheel-chair accessible paths. There's a hang glider launch point, which, as you might imagine, is placed on a high cliff with spectacular views. The launch pad is also favored by people with drones. There is no railing, so make sure to stay well away from the edge, especially when you have your four-legged buddy.
Closer to earth, you will find lots of space to walk your dog on the winding and extensive trails, and plenty of beach to play on. Be aware that the current and undertow are very strong and the water is quite cold, so while splashing in the surf is alright, swimming isn't recommended for anyone, whether on two legs or on four. At Fort Funston, you will find plenty of water fountains for your dog, as well as clean-up bag stations. Grab some in the parking area for your journey, and always pick up after your pup. Bathrooms for the humans are limited to porta-potties in the parking lot.
Your dog is welcome to explore this furbulous area with you off leash, but they must be good under voice control and in your sight at all times. While most of the beach and trail areas are accessible, note that the Coastal Trail and 12 acre enclosed area north of the Horse Trail are closed due to erosion.
For pups who love the wind in their fur, Fort Funston is proof that the best things in life are free!